Contemporary comedies meet a few genre throwbacks this week, with streaming offering up plenty of new and recent titles. Platforms are light on TV this time around, but who says you can’t binge watch a few movies?
What to watch on Netflix
Comedian Bill Burr writes, directs and stars in Old Dads, a comedy about, well, old dads. Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine round out the trio of best friends, business partners and fathers at the movie’s center. Together, these three dads have agreed to sell their sports merchandising company and dedicate their lives to finding themselves and spending time with their families. However, everything from the upstart company buyer to the ultra-sensitive preschool their kids attend throws them for a loop and makes it clear that the good life is still plenty of years away. Old Dads premieres Friday, October 20th.
No Hard Feelings
So far, the ‘20s have had a dearth of mid-budget studio comedies, a troubling sign for the genre that was a box office staple earlier this century. Though it didn’t quite cure that money making slump, this summer’s No Hard Feelings certainly sparked some interest in the R-rated comedy once more. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Maddie, a broke Uber driver-slash-bartender whose need for cash and a car leads to her accepting an odd Craiglist request: the Beckers want their hopelessly awkward and anxious son (Andrew Barth Feldman) to get a girlfriend and some romantic experience before he goes to college. No Hard Feelings premieres on streaming Sunday, October 22nd.
What to watch on Hulu
Veteran writer and director Paul Schrader has been having a career renaissance as of late, with acclaimed indie movies like First Reformed and The Card Counter, and last year’s Master Gardener marks another successful outing for the filmmaker. Joel Edgerton stars as a meticulous gardener on a sprawling estate, hiding his past as a white supremacist through witness protection. While he cares for the grounds owned by an imposing widow (Sigourney Weaver), he becomes attached to her orphaned niece (Quintessa Swindell). History, identity, and reality all converge through the three powerful performances at the film’s center. Master Gardener will be available to stream starting Thursday, October 26th.
What to watch on Amazon Prime
From the creator of the cult favorite comedy series We Are Lady Parts comes another project that centers the lives and experiences of young British-South Asian women. Polite Society revolves around Ria Khan, a teenager obsessed with becoming a stuntwoman and starring in martial arts flicks. Ria eschews her family’s expectations of academics and matchmaking, and when her sister gets engaged, she’s convinced that a sinister plot has been set into motion. From there, it’s disguises, Bollywood-style dance numbers, and fight scenes galore in this martial arts comedy. Polite Society began streaming earlier this week.
Letitia Wright stars in this western that reimagines what the genre looks like. Surrounded features the Black Panther actress as Mo Washington, a freedwoman who served in an all-Black regiment for the Union during the Civil War. With nothing to hold her down, she follows legions of Americans out west in search of gold and a new life. Her plans are thrown into disarray, though, when her stagecoach is attacked by thieves and she’s forced to hold an infamous outlaw (Jamie Bell) captive. All this goes on as Mo, fully aware of the danger the country holds for her, disguises herself as a man. Surrounded streams Friday, October 20th.
What to watch on Max
What better way to prep yourself for Halloween festivities than a double feature starring one of horror’s most infamous clowns? It caused a sensation back in 2017, when it became the highest-grossing horror flick of all time, and its sequel It Chapter Two was happy to meet that high bar with A-list stars (hello, Jessica Chastain) and buckets of blood. Both films take place in the sleepy, spooky town of Derry, Maine, which has become host to the evil Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). It’s up to a small band of middle school outcasts to stop It. It and It Chapter Two are streaming through the end of the month.
What to Watch is a regular endorsement of movies and TV worth your streaming time.